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Will a criminal record prevent me from working in the mines?

12/09/2013BY: Tracey Mesken

​So, you want to work in the Australian resources industry but worried about a couple of past slip ups with the law? Fair enough.  Mining jobs all across the country can offer a rewarding and exciting career opportunity for those willing to work hard and commit themselves. However, before you start sending out job applications, it's important to consider whether employers will see you as a safe and worthwhile hire.

In the past, mines had a reputation for being seedy places filled with criminals. But today, most mining employers prefer to fill their roster with safe, reliable and sensible people.

What sort of crimes will prevent me from working in the mines? A criminal record won't necessarily prevent you from securing employment in the mining industry, but there are certain crimes that many employers will take seriously. Different mines/employers will have restrictions on their employees. Generally, most mining companies will not be concerned about small former infractions on your record. However, many maintain a zero tolerance policy for offences related to violence or drug use.

Should I disclose my criminal history to employers? Yes. At the end of the day, honesty is always the best option. You will have a far better chance of overcoming your criminal record if you are willing to discuss it openly with your employer. Many mining employers do a thorough background check on employees before hiring anyone, so it is likely that your past will come to the fore regardless. Lying about your previous infringements will almost certainly put you out of the running. If you are unsure about any crimes that may have been marked against you, consider contacting your relevant state or territory police service and asking for a formal summary of your police record.